November 7, 2016
So many things have been said about the election that I will try to avoid the obvious here. For whatever it means, I am not in the game of governing and I respect people who try to make a difference. I may not always agree with them, but I can’t imagine how hard it must be to do the job and either way I am willing to accept whatever happens and support our country.
Life is short and happiness is in your hands. We have the best country in the world by far… warts and all. I can give you so many examples but I am sure I don’t have to convince you about that point. So, lets take a chill pill, go out and vote and then lets come together and work on building a better future for our children.
I often share the story of the British artist Bob and Roberta Smith who last year ran for Prime Minister of Great Britain on the “Art Party.” Absurd as it sounds, he struck a chord with me. Making great people … makes great countries.
To that point, at One River, we are focused on helping people think differently. Our world is better when people are challenging themselves to think differently and that is what art is about. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old…just create.
Check out Bob and Roberta’s latest “creative parade” here.
#MondayThoughts #VoteforHumanity #BobandRobertaSmith
October 31, 2016
I am a health nut. I read as much as I can about diet, exercise and the latest updates with a goal of constantly upgrading my routine. While there is no one recipe that works for everyone, I can assure you that if you demonstrate discipline in a few areas you will improve your health and your brain power…it is that simple.
Exercise: Here’s what the American Diabetes Association says: “Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week or a total of 150 minutes per week. Spread your activity out over at least 3 days during the week and try not to go more than 2 days in a row without exercising.
Nutrition: Here’s what Matt Ross says: Limit your carbs to 150G per day, Eat zero trans fats, Cut out processed food, eat more dark, leafy greens, drink more water, reduce your alcohol to no more than 3 drinks per week.
Your Mind: Get the monkey off your back…a friend recently told me about Daniel Smith’s book “Monkey Mind”. In today’s world, I think anxiety is the number one challenge to heath and well-being. Manage it.
Your Soul: Do something quiet that requires your complete attention. Take an art class! Or, go mediate. Or, go somewhere into nature and sit still.
Get your head making better choices and you will have better health with a more clear head, It’s that simple.
#MondayThoughts #YourHealthandYourBrain #MonkeyMind
September 19, 2016
September 12, 2016
I am very interested in the mental health benefits that art provides. Before I dug deeply into visual art, music was my primary way to escape and it provided me an outlet to relax. I could pickup my guitar for ten minutes and find myself breathing more deeply while resetting any negative thoughts swirling around my head.
So, as I explored the idea of creating a fun art school, I also read a lot about the mental / physical benefits of art making. Take a look at the this video from the artist Ross Simonini. Ross takes the aspect of using art to develop neural balance to a different level…he paints with all four limbs!!! Yes, both hands and feet!!!!!
Ross is an extraordinary guy. I had a chance to visit his studio last year and we decided to show his artwork here at One River. That exhibition opens this Saturday and Ross will be onsite talking about his practice and how art making can lead to an awakening of new pathways that promote brain development and creative growth.
Contemporary Art is about exploring new ideas, materials and processes to express yourself. Ross Simonini is a true artist: musician, poet, writer and visual artist. He also is an inspiration to me and is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet. Come by this Saturday from 1-3:30PM to meet Ross, check out his exhibition and try out some fun things.
#MondayThoughts #RossSimonini #OneRiverExhibitions
February 15, 2016
I remember when I was 8 years old, there were no living former US Presidents. When LBJ left office in 73 and died shortly thereafter, we returned to this state and I think it contributed greatly to my pure reverence for the role of President of the United States of America. As a kid, the only President was the acting President and during my formative years the role seemed so grand and so beyond reproach.
Today, we live in a world of 24-hour news cycles, social media and pundits that come from everywhere and there seems to be a watered down appreciation for the POTUS because of party politics and the velocity of negative messages. During a highly volatile primary season when we filter everything through party politics, our personal emotions cloud some of the most important values that we all share as Americans.
On this Presidents Day, I simply want to make a pledge to hopefully ask anyone who reads this to help do our part to support and be grateful for the people who spend their lives serving us. I have no politics in any of my messages…just some personal thoughts on a Monday that make people think a little bit differently.
Happy Presidents Day!
February 8, 2016
Back in 1991, I was introduced to Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful People and it radically changed me. I had an MBA and a bunch of years of success under my belt, but I didn’t have a process to stay focused on the right things. The best thing about Covey’s approach is that it combines business goal setting with personal goal setting and it provides a system to simply focus your time on what matters most.
Life is damn hard. Build your plan to do things better and smarter. Tap into tools like Stephen Covey’s and others. Focus on the major priorities in your life and set some aside time for your own personal growth and development.
Eat better. Drink less alcohol. Exercise more. Find your spiritual center.
Take a cool class…Art or anything that makes you think differently.
Spend less time with the people around you who are negative.
February 1, 2016
November 2, 2015
Now that I have spent the last ten years trying to improve creative education around the world, I find myself constantly thinking about what makes our brains tick? I never had the science skills to become a doctor but somehow I wound up earning a doctorate in human observation. And, at the center of my personal interest is: what drives creative capacity in people and how does creative action help to improve your brain’s wiring?
According to a recent article in Good Magazine, participants in a hands-on art workshop found that making art greatly improved their “psychological resilience”, which helped them resist the effects of stress and actually made them feel happier. Read article here. This is not surprising to me … I see our students craving art experiences and to me that speaks to the positive emotions derived from art-making.
The biggest reason adults don’t take an art class is: fear. We all worry about our image and we fear that first step. Get over it…there is nothing better than treating yourself to a new, creative experience and I am certain that it will pave the way for feeling better in so many ways. If you are an adult and want to try a class for the first time, click here and I will give you 50% off your first month! Your brain matters to me.
August 10, 2015
Now that I am post 50, I find myself starting to think more about how precious time is. Part of the problem is the litany of choices are excruciating: do I watch the game or get caught up on Season Four of Breaking Bad (yes only 4), do I do some work or sort my photos from my recent trip, do I read one of the four books I have started or watch some of SNL that I recorded, and so on and so on.
One of the choices I try to make is to read Bob Lefsetz blog when it hits my inbox. Bob is a veteran of the music industry and he writes about the state of affairs of that business, while weaving in observations of life from the perspective of an aging boomer. Bob has been to the dance, understands it and is now sharing his wisdom with a broader universe than he ever had when he was selling music to the masses. Last week he wrote a piece called “too much of everything” that goes hand in hand with what I have previously described.
My “Monday Thoughts” started a couple years ago when we opened One River and the promises I made back then were to say something relevant, be brief, share with people who are interested and tie in some themes that make us think about being creative. Opening an art center is a counterintuitive thing. In todays lightning paced world, I believe people want to slow down and have a cool, creative interactive experience. I also believe that enjoying art, both making it and consuming it, is the perfect elixir to the brain train filled with endless stuff.
August 10, 2015
Monday Thoughts: Winter Blues
Uh oh, I have a subtle feeling that the winter blues are around the corner. How do I know? Well, it generally starts with a few signals: sleepier in the AM, drinking way too much coffee, nesting at home on Sundays and finding ridiculous chores to accomplish, sitting in the man cave and watching too many games…thinking about how much I miss the warm weather!
No matter how you slice it, every year this time we all go through the same thing…conscious or unconscious…our body and mind shifts into a different place and it really can effect your mood. Before you become Jack Nicholson in The Shining, I have a few ideas for you to consider:
- Check out this really cool portable energy light called Sphere. These things really work with no known side effects.
- Plan “ME TIME”— yes, plan it!
- Find a cool new workout, take a cool class, eat some great comfort food or check out a cool art show.
Send me your best idea for dealing with the Winter Blues…I will pick one and post it on Facebook. If I choose yours, you get a free class @ One River!
BTW: If you start chanting REDRUM, all bets are off.